18 Toughest Entrance Exams and Interviews in the World

For students, career is much important than anything else, and this is the era where you can find many students bundling themselves into library, opening their notes to inspect the preparation for the dreaded exams. How to get-in one of the best institutes for a bright future and how to prepare for their entrance exams creates a storm in the student’s mind.

Most of the job seekers feel the same kind of pressure while preparing for the interview. Of course, the path the getting selected is not simple, but to make you feel a little better, we have gathered a list of toughest entrance exams and interviews all around the world.

18. Mensa


Mensa is the oldest and largest high IQ society in the world. To enter this nonprofit organization you will need to have one thing – intelligence within the top two percent of the world’s population, in other words, an IQ of 132 on the Stanford-Binet scale.

The best thing about Mensa is there is no age bar; people can take the test at any age. The main aim of the organization is to foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity, encourage research and provide a stimulating intellectual and social environment for its members.

17. LNAT


National admission test for law (LNAT) is an entrance test for law universities in United Kingdom. It was established at the leading urgency of Oxford University as a solution to the problem facing school trying to select from an increasingly competitive pool with similar high A-levels. There are 9 law universities that take admission through LNAT, conducted at hundred of test centers worldwide.

The candidate is given 2 hours 15 minutes to complete an essay and 42 multiple choice questions aimed at logical reasoning and reading comprehension. Most of the questions are open-ended topics usually about student related issues or other familiar subject matter. The essays are individually marked by checkers at the respective universities.

16. GRE


The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a common exam for seeking a seat in all English speaking countries, especially American Graduate Schools. It’s a standardized exam created and administered by the ETS (Educational Testing Service) in 1949. The cost to appear in a test is $205 US dollars, although ETS provides financial help to applicants who prove economic hardship. Over 655,000 candidates appeared in 2012.

The exam measures your quantitative and verbal reasoning, analytical writing and critical thinking skills. The exam is adaptive on section-by-section basis, which means performance on the first section will determine the difficulty of the second section presented. The duration of exam is 3 hours 45 minutes, including 1 minute break after first and second section, and a 10 minute break after third section.

15. College Scholastic Ability Test

College Scholastic Ability TestImage credit: cnbc

College Scholastic Ability Test (or CSAT) is a standardized test accepted by South Korean universities. It plays an important role in education in South Korea. It was made official in 1994, and managed by the Korea Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation. The exam is praised for its meritocratic factor, efficiency and high international results.

CSAT if often described as “the chance to make or break one’s career”. About 20% student re-apply for the exam. It is usually conducted in November and on the exam day, stock markets open late, government employee are allowed to be late so that they don’t cause traffic jams. Even, airplanes are grounded so the noise does not disturb the students.

14. Google


Nowadays, Google isn’t hiring the stereotypical, hoody-wearing programmers with massive intellects. They tend to hire people with emotional intelligence who can work as a team.

To get into Google, you must be able to process on the fly, make decisions regarding the problems you have never seen before, and you should be able to stand up and get your voice heard in a productive way. And of course, computer algorithms and programming languages are the most important skills on which you will be judged. There is no hard and fast rule how long will be the interview process. However easy this may sound, this isn’t a piece of cake, as only 1% of applicants get hired.

Read: Top 15 Unbelievable Google’s Future Projects

13. Nvidia


Nvidia develops Graphic Processing Units for gaming market as well as system on a chip units for the mobile computing. According to Glassdoor, it is one of the top 25 companies that give toughest job interviews.

Getting selected is a two phase process. The first one is written test that covers topics like finite state machine, pipelining, cache organization, digital CMOS design and C programming concepts. The next phase is technical interview. They do not focus on the formalities like what certificates you have but rather they focus on how technically strong you are. Usually, a lot of emphasis is made on basic assembly language problems (based on any microprocessor).

12. CAT


The Common Admission Test (CAT) is conducted every year by Indian Institute of Management (IIM) for selecting students for their business administration programs. Before 2009, it was a paper based test conducted on a single day for all candidates. In May 2009, it was announced that CAT would be a computer based test starting from 2009 and students can choose their own exam date every November.

CAT is a 3 hour exam that tests your quantitative ability, reading comprehension, data interpretation, verbal ability and logical reasoning. Every year, more than 200,000 students apply for CAT exam and only 1500 get admission in IIMs.

11. GATE


GATE stands for Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering, conducted by Indian Institute of Technology every year for admissions to various post-graduate education programs. The GATE Score is also used by different public sector undertakings for recruiting graduate engineers in entry level positions.

The exam is designed to test the comprehensive understanding of several undergraduate subjects in engineering and science. It’s a 3 hour exam that contains 65 question worth a maximum of 100 marks. From 2014 onward, all papers are computer based. More than one million students apply every year, out of which only 2000 get admission in top colleges or public sectors.

10. NASA Astronaut Candidate Program

NASA Astronaut Candidate Program

The NASA accepts application for the position of astronaut candidate on an as needed basis. Even if you are a topper of university, have attended plenty of space camps, are an accomplished rocket scientist, you still have to wait for NASA to need more astronauts.

Along with your degree, you must have followed your time as a student by at least 3 years of related, progressively responsible, professional experience or minimum 1,000 pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft. This is a week long process of personal interviews and medical screening. The orientation is required for both civilian and military candidates under final consideration. Once selected, the complete background investigation will be performed.

Read: 30 Amazing NASA Inventions That We Use In Our Daily Life



The LSAT (stands for Law School Admission Test) is an integral part of the law school admission process in the United States, Canada, Australia and a growing number of other countries. The test was started back in 1948, and the current form of the exam has been used since 1991.

The LSAT is designed to measure 3 skills – reading comprehension, logical and analytical reasoning. The exam consists of total six sections: four multiple choice section, one writing and one experimental section. It is conducted four times a year, however, a candidate is allowed to appear not more than 3 times within a two year period.



The India’s central agency Union Public Service Commission is responsible for conducting various exams for many government jobs. It conducts the Indian Forest Service examination, Civil Services examination, Engineering Services examination, National Defence Academy examination, Combined Medical Services Examination and lots more.

Most of the exams under UPSC test verbal and logical reasoning. They held in a preliminary phase at first where candidates face objective questions and then the main phase where they appear for subjective questions, and then an interview process. The success rate is flimsy 0.1 – 0.3 %.

7. USMLE Series


USMLE stands for United States Medical Licensing Examination sponsored by the National Board of Medical Examiners and the Federation of State Medical Boards. Physicians with M.D degree need to pass this exam in order to practice medicine in US.

The exam is divided into 3 part process that tests fundamental patient-centered skills, and ability to apply knowledge, concepts and principle that are important in health and disease. The step 3 is the most difficult phase. It’s a 16 hour examination divided over 2 days, each day of testing should be completed within 8 hours. There are total 454 multiple choice questions (256 on first day and 198 on second) and candidates get maximum 1 hour to rest each day.

6. Gaokao

GaokaoImage credit: bbc

Gaokao is National Higher Education Entrance Examination held in China. The exam is essential to get into almost all higher education institute at the undergraduate level. It is conducted annually and since 2001, age restriction to take this exam has been lifted. However, most students appear in the exam during the last year of their high school.

The exam duration is 9 hours and it is conducted over a period of 2 days. Mathematics, English and Chinese literature are compulsory for all students. Only 0.2% students get the top five colleges of the country. In order to maximize results, students put their extreme effort – some female students take hormones to delay their menstrual cycle until after the test. In 2007, even one family went so far as to hide the death of a girl’s father from her for nearly two months, so that she can focus on her exam.


iit jee

The Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Examination was first conducted in 1960. It’s an objective pattern exam that candidates take usually after completing high school to take admission in one of the top engineering colleges in India. IIT-JEE is regarded internationally as the most challenging engineering admission test.

In 2013, IIT test is replaced by two phase exam – phase one is JEE Mains and phase two is JEE Advanced. Only the candidates selected in JEE Mains are eligible for appearing in JEE Advanced. Out of every 1,300,000 students appearing, only a handful of 20,000 gets selected every year, and this makes it one of the toughest exams in the world.

4. McKinsey & Company

mckinsey & company

McKinsey & Company is a management consulting firm that conducts quantitative and qualitative analysis in order to evaluate management decisions across worldwide private and public sectors. The firm gives one of the toughest job interviews.

To get into McKinsey, you need face an interview, which is all about your skills and experience. The selected candidates will be asked to give one-hour online exam, which is designed to test your verbal and mathematical reasoning. The next phase is Experience Interview, where you will be asked about your past experiences, accomplishments and challenges you have faced. The last phase is Case Interview: they will check your problem-solving skills by discussing a real McKinsey business problem with you.

3. Master Sommelier Diploma Examination

Master Sommelier Diploma ExaminationImage source: mastersommeliers.org

The Court of Master Sommeliers is an organization established in 1977. Their aim is to encourage improved standards of beverage service, special wine and food pairing, in restaurants and hotels.

The first Master Sommelier exam was held in the UK in 1969, and since then fewer than 250 candidates have been selected. You can’t guess how selective authorities could get while selecting candidates. The exam is divided into three processes – theory, service and practical testing. The last process is the toughest one. It is scored on the candidate’s verbal abilities to clearly identify and accurately describe six different wines. They even have to identify the grape varieties and country of origin,

2. All Souls Prize Fellowship Exam

university of oxford

Oxford University’s All Souls College seeks to elect Prize Fellows every year. The collage selects only two from the field of fifty or more candidates. And what you get once you pass the exam? You become a full-time, salaried Oxford Fellow, in-college catering, free on-campus accommodation and plenty of other perks. The Fellowship lasts for 7 years and it cannot be renewed.

Until 2010, the students were required to write a long essay about one word given in paper, for example Hope, Miracles, Novelty. The exam has four papers, three hours each. One needs to have factual knowledge as well as imaginative mind to clear the exam.

1. CA

CA exam

The Chartered Accountancy Exam is conducted in India, designed to combine theoretical study with practical training. A candidate can apply for membership after passing all three levels of examinations conducted by Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and completing three years of practical training.

Read: 13 Very Interesting Questions with their Answers

The first level is Common Proficiency Test that covers four basic subjects – Mercantile laws, fundamentals of Accounting, Economics and Quantitative aptitude. The second level is Integrated Professional Competence Course that contains seven subjects, split into groups of four and three. The last level is CA final examination where all blood, sweat and tears merge during the last six months. This phase has 2 groups of four subjects, which includes financial reporting, advanced management accounting, information systems control, direct and indirect tax laws.

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  • Have you heard of the USMLE Step 3? It’s a 16 hour exam covered over 2 continuous days, with 550 multiple choice questions and 12 simulated 20 minute cases. You should really read about this exam. The questions are a page length to be finished in less than a minute, the exam spans all clinical fields across medicine, all medicine subspecialties, pediatrics, obs/gyn, biostatisitics, general surgery.

    GRE et all are a piece of cake really..

    • Well said Harsh.. the first round includes 336 mcq and 2nd one has 114 mcq. But consider the cutoff scores and competition also. In gre you have to score at least 336-340 out of 340 to get admission in top universities in the world which is definitely not a piece of cake.

  • This is absolutely wrong as aipmt is,according to me,the toughest exam on this planet and in this it is not even mentioned.Strange!!you know what,only 70 seats are there in AIIMS delhi ,out of which 50% is reserved.Approx. 1 lakh students give this exam.So,don’t you think it is d toughest?

    • Hello Priya!
      Well, it’s a national level exam and you have mentioned the seat matrix of Delhi only. Moreover, the toughness level of AIPMT is quite lighter than AIEEE. I would also like to tell you that there is a huge difference between competitive exam and tough exam.
      Thanks for sharing your thought with us 🙂

    • All Souls Prize Fellowship Exam. 2 Candidates selected per year. Even the entire world writes the exam only 2 candidates get the fellowship. Where are our f**** brain goes. If we are in India it doesn’t means Exams in India are the toughest. Idiots at their best.
      Master Sommelier Diploma Examination. Can u fu**** smell 6 wines and say what type of grape variety used and from which country with region and which year it is made without opening your eyes. It will take Infinite years for us to find them.

  • sorry,1.5 million people write jee main 150000 qualify for jee advanced and out of that 10000 people clear iit,acceptance rate 10000/1500000 equals 0.67% it is not over yet if you belong to general category then only 4000 seats are allocated for you(caste reservation system)and you must get below 3000 to get a decent group from a decent iit.iit bombay computer science has only 50 seats and all 1.5 million aim for that..the difficulty of paper is equivalent to that of international olympiads if you feel they are easy then you are wrong,when you write olympiad you will be writing it in one subject that too your favorite,but for jee you will be writing it in 3 subjects(phy,chem,mat) that too at the same time.people whose ranks are below 50 would have been dfeinitely successful,and mostly Top 10 rankers would possess a medal from international olympiad and top 5 would possess a gold medal.

  • The toughest is IAS , not IES and IIT is tougher than CAT and GATE….
    Which noob made this list? Probably some humanities-studying dumbass.
    15 lakh aspirants appear for IIT and 1.5 qualify the first round , after which tere is the second round which is much tougher than the previous one , and only 10,000 get selected. Now you may think that your job is done , but no. If you belong to general category , you only have 5000 or less seats. The rest are reserved for SCs , STs , OBCs and PWDs. Try qualifiying that

    • it’s 12 lakhs not 15 lakhs in iit, with 10,000 selection the selection ratio is around 1:120. in civil services, total number of candidates=5 lakh, total selections around 400(IAS,IPS,IFS, etc), selection ratio 1:1000. in IES(Indian engineering services) selection ratio is around 1:500.

    • Whatever happens 1000+ are selected each year. You are the most dumbest person in the world.
      All Souls Prize Fellowship Exam –> only 2 person in the entire world is selected per year. you Idiot of Idiotic idiot. 200 in 40 year history. Do u think only 200 IAS were during this period.
      Master Sommelier Diploma Examination –> Can you fu*** taste a wine with your eyes closed and find the type of grape used (there are 10000+ wine grape varieties in the world) and tell where it is from which country and that too which part (e.g.Daulatabad grape) and also the year the wine is made (how will you find the taste difference of 1778 wine in spain and 1994 wine in switzerland) just by tasting. Fu**** we Indians just need to read some pretty easy books compared to these exams. IAS may be tough but each year there are 1000+ IAS but in the entire world there are 227 Sommelier who take the exam Master Sommelier Diploma Examination. There are only some 200 cleared All Souls Prize Fellowship Exam.First know about all the above exams before giving your answers. You are proving how an Indain mind will be as like “India is best. Indian exams are tough. india team is best.” Your comments makes no sense.

    • Huh! You fool… Don’t you know the difference between competitive and Toughest exams…IIT is the most competitive exam and applicants are huge in numbers and available seats are low. Whereas CA is the toughest academic exam in india coz the difficulty level of questions will drool you. Haven’t you heard a dialogue in india that the guy keep attempting CA every year but couldn’t and there comes a point of time when the guy is still attempting CA while the girl who used to study with her is mother of Three. Anyways nothing is this world is impossible!

  • U.S. Department of Justice,
    Fact: G-D is! (t)HE GREATEST TEACHER
    Q: is there a Test on (t)HIS planet impossible to pass?
    A: G-D’S Bar [if you (wee spirit) don’t know G-D is! Testing you]

  • bro(t)her! if you tell us THAT (you love G-D)
    then show us THAT
    ‘tell and show’
    bro(t)her! if you tell us THAT (you love G-D)
    then show us THAT
    1) by(e) you keeping HIS Commandments (behave!)
    2) by(e) you righting wrongs (act!)

  • U.S. Department of Justice? (Scooby Do!o),
    where are you?
    1) up a Tree
    2) in a Tea ching
    3) up on a Tee
    4(e!) all (t)HE above
    Fact: I (knocked) wrote to(o) the NY FBI 2 times in 2011;
    the NY FBI never wrote ‘me back’ (so sad and how silly to(o)
    not open)
    Fact: I got back and I am saving
    both signed green cards (USPS Form 3811)
    Q: who was in charge of the NY FBI then (tunc)?
    A: Janice Fedarcyk
    Q: did not Janice Fedarcyk work closely with Loretta Lynch?
    A: si! (I got THAT today (yea!) from Loretta Lynch hearing)
    Q: did those women ‘see’ the 50 (five o) poems!
    I delivered for G-D! (ho ho ho)?
    Q: did those women ‘hear’ about the 50 (five o) poems!
    I delivered for G-D! (ho ho ho)?
    Q: did those women ‘see’ my written complaint(s)
    I mailed for G-D! (ho ho ho)?
    Q: did those women ‘hear’ about my written complaint(s)
    I mailed for G-D! (ho ho ho)?
    Q: did those women “investigate! IME doctor fraud”?

    Q: did the NY FBI ‘take and pass’ G-D’S Mail around?

    Q: did the NY FBI throw out (discard)(abort) G-D’S Mail?
    Q: where is G-D’S Mail right now (nunc)?
    Q: is the NY FBI a modern day Jonah?
    Q: does not every single law enforcement agency have a duty to(o)
    the American taxpayer/complainant/victim/claimant to(o)
    1) accept complaint (IME doctor fraud!)
    2) investigate complaint (IME doctor fraud!)
    3) communicate with complainant (me me me)
    4) resolve complaint in a (t)imely manner (180 days or less)
    U.S. Department of Justice,
    please answer (t)HIS questions
    Q: what’s FOIA?

  • _____________________[yoo-hoo] [yoo-hoo]
    U.S. Department of Justice,
    come out, come out, wherever you are
    G-D wants y’all to(o)
    ‘take and drink’ (t)HIS Cup of (not hemlock) T:
    On 9/6/2013 NYS WCB commissioner(s) Munnelly +
    Williams and Higgins (2 non-attorneys) ‘reviewed (examined) and rescinded’
    my NYS WCALJudge Robert Anderson’s decision.
    My attorneys at Fine, Olin & Anderman appealed and requested
    a Full Board Review (FBR).
    On 11/25/2013 NYS WCB chair Beloten solely denied me
    a Full Board Review (FBR).
    On 12/12/2013 the Third Judicial Department decided that
    “only a three member panel can deny a Full Board Review”
    (see Scalo v. Perry & Sons)
    On 12/27/2013 NYS WCB chair Beloten got 2 subordinates
    (Libous and Munnelly) to sign order denying me
    a Full Board Review (FBR).
    Q1: was not Munnelly NYS WCB general counsel and NYS WCB ethics officer?
    Q2: how much (t)ime did each person spend ‘reviewing’ (examining)
    my NYS WCALJudge’s decision?
    Q3: did Libous (who is a nurse?) sign order denying me a Full Board Review
    while in Florida or while in New York?
    Q4: why is a nurse (or any non-attorney) ‘reviewing’ (examining)
    any NYS WCALJudge’s decision?
    Q5: if Munnelly + 2 non-attorneys ‘reviewed (examined) and rescinded’
    my NYS WCALJudge’s decision in September 2013
    then why is Munnelly again being asked by his boss to deny me
    a Full Board Review (FBR)?
    5 = a hand
    Trust but Verify
    NYS WCB commissioner bios
    (google it! vs google chrome it!) (yahoo it! vs yabba dabba do!o it!)
    sip! sip!

  • U.S. Department of Justice,
    Q: Nonfeasance is ______________?
    A: The intentional failure to perform a required duty or obligation.
    Nonfeasance is a term used in Tort Law to describe inaction
    that allows or results in harm to a person or to property.
    An act of nonfeasance can result in liability if
    (1) the actor owed a duty of care toward the injured person,
    (2) the actor failed to act on that duty, and
    (3) the failure to act resulted in injury.

  • U.S. Department of Justice,
    Q: Sloth (Latin, acedia) is _________________?
    A: spiritual laziness!
    Failing to develop spiritually is key to becoming guilty of sloth.
    In the Christian faith, sloth rejects grace and God.
    Sloth has also been defined as
    a failure to do things that one should do.
    By this definition, evil exists when
    so-called good men/women (I added women for G-D!) fail to act.

  • So the CA exam is on all objective levels more difficult then the Sommelier exam? Who compiled this list? Also the LSAT is one of the most hardest exams as well but is only ranked at 9th?

  • Google

    Please stop by the sites we adhere to, like this a single, because it represents our picks in the web.

  • The MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) in the U.S. is much harder than the LSAT and GRE. Why isn’t it on this list?

  • quotations

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